I Ought to Understand Frailty

Across a stained, wooden table
     our daughter reads a comic book
     about a babysitter with diabetes.

We wait for hot chocolate
     at a packed coffee shop
     a short drive from our house.

This is a description of that moment.

Our daughter’s chin rests on her hands
     while her eyes scan her colorful book.

She wears a leopard-print coat
     and mis-matched gloved: one pink,
     one black with grey stripes.

No, that isn’t right.
She took her gloves off because she was hot.

Already hot.
Children so warm.
Little furnaces of biology.

She looks up and smiles.
“Was your diabetes like this?”
     she asks, points at a page.

No, that isn’t right.
She asked me to read the page –
     in my head, not aloud.

The pictures show a young woman
     (maybe the babysitter)
     with signs of wooziness, then
     falling asleep into a plate of food.

“It was a lot like that,” I tell her.

We came here for hot chocolate
     a few years ago and she spilled
     her cup all over the floor.

No, that isn’t right.
It was our son.
He thought I would be mad.

No that isn’t right.
He was mad at himself
     because he lost his hot chocolate.

Our daughter’s chin rests on her hands
     while her eyes scan back and forth
     over her colorful book.

She tells me she thinks she needs glasses.
She is seven years old.
She is seven years old and tells me
     the chalkboard at school seems fuzzy.
She tells me that’s why she stands
     too close to the television.

We are flawed, she and I.
We are flawed and in need of assistance.
No, that isn’t right.

I Ought to Understand Frailty

14 thoughts on “I Ought to Understand Frailty

  1. Such a very compelling prose poetry.

    Is this based on a true event?

    I like these lines:

    She tells me she thinks she needs glasses.
    She is seven years old.
    She is seven years old and tells me
    the chalkboard at school seems fuzzy.
    She tells me that’s why she stands
    too close to the television.

    I don’t know what it means to have glasses but I know it must be difficult to not have 20/20 vision and have to depend on glasses.

    Excellent and wonderful writing my friend. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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